Definition of grinding in US English:



  • 1(of a state) oppressive, tedious, and seemingly without end.

    ‘grinding poverty’
    • ‘The book also reveals the grinding poverty of the day.’
    • ‘It takes around two or three generations of sweatshops to go from the ancient pattern of peasant subsistence farming, with its characteristic grinding toil for women to where the country is now.’
    • ‘There had been bad times before but nothing to compare with this grinding poverty.’
    • ‘They don't know about the ongoing insecurity, or the grinding poverty and unemployment.’
    • ‘In more recent times, grinding poverty forced villagers to marry off their daughters at a young age because society dictated the girls were a financial burden.’
    • ‘More than 50 percent of Peru's population lives under conditions of grinding poverty.’
    • ‘And if they can't sell their stock, there are a lot of workers who may not have jobs and have to return to the grinding poverty of life in an agricultural village.’
    • ‘So the public's information inputs will tend to continue a perception of grinding, inertial failure.’
    • ‘And even in the capital city, signs of grinding poverty appear to contradict plaudits to the great leader.’
    • ‘In this exceptionally picturesque region, beauty and grinding toil continue to coexist, very much as described in John Steinbeck's novels, notably The Grapes of Wrath.’
    • ‘I am struck by the grinding abject poverty I have seen.’
    • ‘He highlights the grinding poverty and harvesting problems which still afflict the population.’
    • ‘The vision of grinding poverty, crime, and corruption that it presents is unrelentingly grim.’
    • ‘The majority of immigrants are from North Africa, especially Morocco, and are seeking escape from the grinding poverty in that country.’
    • ‘At first glance, bi-nationalism seems to offer an attractive exit from the grinding impasse of the current conflict.’
    • ‘Critics of marriage agencies say they exploit the grinding poverty of women in developing countries, offering dreams of a new life in the West that often turn sour.’
    • ‘Although he had almost no formal education and was dogged by grinding poverty all his life, Blake managed to create a type of original language that influences English to this day.’
    • ‘Access to clean water can be the key to climbing out of grinding poverty.’
    • ‘Both stories capture the hopelessness and desperation of grinding poverty, but in very different ways.’
    • ‘Selling drugs, as an alternative to enduring grinding poverty, has been a common enough response as the income gap has widened.’
    overwhelming, overpowering, hard to bear, unbearable, burdensome, unendurable, intolerable, heavy
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  • 2(of a sound or motion) harsh and grating.

    ‘the group's grinding, ear-splitting guitar’
    • ‘Then there was a grinding sound and the craft hit the beach.’
    • ‘I stopped a few cars ahead and as I reversed I heard this grinding noise, which I thought was the gears but in fact I was scraping the side of the parked cars.’
    • ‘Iron wheels made a squeaking, grinding noise. Anna squeezed my hand.’
    • ‘Staying at my parents' house last weekend, I was putting the children to bed when we all heard a loud grinding noise outside.’
    • ‘There was a grinding sound from the van, and then the engine caught.’
    • ‘It was a high-pitched squeal coming from the rear, as well as grinding noises.’
    • ‘‘I heard screams and then there was this terrible grinding sound,’ he said.’
    • ‘A horrible grinding sound came from somewhere above their heads, and a spray of smelly oil came down on top of them.’
    • ‘The joint often makes a grinding sound as it no longer rides smoothly over the knee.’
    • ‘It features a grinding bassline that's perfectly suited to the subject matter and video - which features plenty of pole-sliding action and a cameo from Janet Jackson.’
    • ‘The grinding sound you hear is of a train hitting the buffers.’
    • ‘The night air is filled with a rhythmic series of explosions in quick succession like an immense grinding noise: apparently it's the sound of cluster bombs.’
    • ‘As we began to drive away, we heard a constant grinding sound from the rear of the truck.’
    • ‘Almost instantly after the name was spoken, a slight grinding noise sounded… and then that familiar computerized voice.’
    • ‘She heard a grinding sound and suddenly, the lights went on.’
    • ‘And you know how, when the battery's flat, your car makes a dispiriting grinding noise as you try starting it?’
    • ‘She swiped her ID card in the reader and the doors slid open with a loud grinding noise.’
    • ‘The keys made a metallic grinding sound as Kim poked and turned them in the keyhole.’
    • ‘The engine died as he pulled into the spot and the transmission made a horrible, grinding noise as he shifted into park.’
    • ‘Then came a grinding sound as the rusty gears began to move.’
    grating, jarring, rasping, raspy, strident, raucous, brassy, jangling, metallic, ear-piercing, discordant, dissonant, disagreeable, unharmonious, cacophonous, unmelodious
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